Does brown sugar expire?

In this brief guide, we will discuss the following question, “does brown sugar expire?”, how to store it, what are the signs of spoilage, and other queries related to this topic.

Does brown sugar expire? 

No, brown sugar does not expire or go bad because it does not help in bacterial and microbial growth unless you store it in an inappropriate, dry place far from moisture and humidity and in an air-tight container. 

Moreover, you might notice that it is mentioned on the label a “best-before” date, so using the product after this time does not have any effect on your health.

Usually, this period is two years. However, the texture of the product might change and you end up having a clumpy texture for your sugar. Furthermore, store and use your sugar within five years, because after this time you will start losing the quality of the product and its taste might change, so it is not a matter of food safety but food quality.

Furthermore, this type of sugar is very sweet and is usually used to make sauces, marinades, glazes, and baking. Also, the intensity of its color and taste depends on the quantity of molasses added to it. So, the higher its content in molasses the darker its color will be and the sweeter its taste.

To wrap up, brown sugar can last in your pantry forever if stored appropriately, hence sometimes it is stamped on the packaging with a “best-before” date. Using a product that has exceeded this time is extremely safe and will not lead to food poisoning or foodborne-illness.

How to store brown sugar?

Well storing brown sugar is key in preserving its quality for a longer time. So, once you open the sugar bag, put the original pack in a well-sealed plastic bag in a dry place or pour the sugar into an air-thigh container.

Moreover, if you open or not your brown sugar bag, make sure to store it in a cool and dry place far from moisture, humidity, and heat like near the oven or the microwave. Hence, storing the sugar in your pantry is a good choice.

In addition, keep the sugar far from food that has a strong smell like herbs and spices because it can absorb these smells and its taste will be altered. Also, keeping the brown sugar in a cool place does not mean putting it in the refrigerator because cold temperatures will change its texture and will make it harder.

How to tell that brown sugar expired?

If you have brown sugar in your pantry that has passed its “best-before” date do not worry, there are several signs that indicate its spoilage. First, you might notice foreign bodies like alive or dead insects or eggs or mold within the sugar. So, once you see them make sure to throw your sugar away.

Additionally, the color of the brown sugar might change. It might become darker or lighter depending on the mold or the bacteria that has been developed within the product.

Furthermore, few signs indicate the reduction in the quality of the product but do not mean that its consumption will affect your health. Life, for example, the brown sugar might clump due to the absorption of excess moisture from the environment where you are storing them.

Also, the smell of the brown sugar might change because you are storing it with other products that have a strong smell.

How to soften hard brown sugar?

There are many ways to soften your hard brown sugar and restore its quality to be used in your recipe:

  • Use a fork to smash the clumped sugar. However, it is a little bit time and energy-consuming and not convenient to restore a large batch of hard brown sugar.
  • Use an electric mixer, a food processor, or a coffee grinder to crash your hard sugar into small chunks and pieces. Hence, it is not time-consuming and can be used to restore a large quantity of clumped brown sugar.
  • Put your hard brown sugar in a bag and then smash them.
  • Place your hard brown sugar on moist tissue paper and place it in the microwave for a few minutes.
  • Place your clumped brown sugar in a bag with a piece of bread one or two days from using it in your recipe.
  • Put a dried orange peel in the brown sugar bag.

Other FAQs about Sugar that you may be interested in.

Why is there so much sugar in milk?

Is there a lot of sugar in Japanese food?

Can sugar flowers go in the fridge?

Can you eat more sugar if you exercise?


In this brief guide, we discussed the following question, “does brown sugar expire?”, how to store it, what are the signs of spoilage, and other queries related to this topic.